Njoroge ELDORET (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Friday launched
a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project that is expected to
attract about 2 billion U.S. dollars of foreign investments.
At the ground-breaking ceremony,
Deputy President William Ruto said the project is a joint
venture between Kenyan-based company Africa Economic Zone and
China’s Guangdong New South Group.
Its Phase 1 consists of a 700-acre
industrial park that will house firms from agro-processing,
chemical and constructing sectors, according to Ruto.
The Phase 2 will target technology
firms, while Phase 3 will focus on the hospitality sector. The
project was made possible after the signing of an agreement
between the Kenyan and Chinese firms in China during the Belt
and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation.
Ruto said the project will enable
Kenyan industrialists to benefit from the vast manufacturing
experience that China has accumulated over the past 30 years.
He said that the Kenyan government has
been considering establishing the SEZs for the past 15 years,
but the facilities can now be licensed in the country following
the enactment of the SEZ act in September 2015.
“Less than two years later after the
law was passed, Kenya has been able to license the first
private SEZ,” he said.
The SEZ law lays the development
framework that outlines the special tax incentives for
industries that set up shop in the zones.
The deputy president noted that
developed nations have utilized SEZs to improve the living
standards of their citizens.
“We also intend to use the zones to
expand job creation and wealth creation opportunities
especially among the youth,” he added.
Africa advised to use
economic zones to attract Chinese investment
Njoroge ELDORET (Xinhua) -- Africa can attract more
Chinese investment by rolling out more Special Economic Zones (SEZs),
a Chinese investor has suggested.
Zhu Layi, president of the Guangdong
New South Group, told Xinhua in Kenya that the economic zones
offer a lot of tax and infrastructural incentives that are very
appealing to Chinese investors seeking to set up business in
“SEZs are a very good model to push
for Chinese industries to establish manufacturing plants in
African countries,” Zhu said.
Kenya on Friday launched a SEZ
project, a joint venture between Kenyan-based company Africa
Economic Zone and Guangdong New South. It is expected to attract
about 2 billion U.S. dollars of foreign investments for Kenya.
Kenyan experts have said the SEZs are
expected to aid in doubling the current manufacturing sector
jobs to approximately 1 million, adding year-on-year 2-3 billion
U.S. dollars to Kenya’s GDP in the next decade.
Zhu noted that SEZs are ideal as they
tackle the numerous hurdles that enterprises face while
operating in Africa.
“They improve the business environment
in the manufacturing sector and hence are likely to become
magnets for Chinese investors seeking opportunities in Africa,”
Moreover, Zhu said Africa can fully
exploit SEZ to attract Chinese firms that are seeking to
relocate overseas due to rising labor costs at home.
“In addition, SEZs can help to spur
transfer of Chinese industrial technology into Africa,” the
company president said.
The rapid industrialization witnessed
in China over the past 30 years has been partly attributed to
the effective use of SEZs.
“China has used SEZs to catalyze the
growth of industries and achieve global manufacturing
competitiveness,” Zhu said.
Guangdong New South Group currently
operates SEZs in Nigeria and plans to establish new facilities
in Kenya in collaboration with local partners.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are
designated areas where businesses enjoy tax benefits and other
By creating an SEZ, Kenya has hoped to
increase its export volume, diversify the range of exports
currently dominated by agriculture produce, expand job creation
and facilitate tech transfers.